RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Ford Motor Company launched its Warriors in Pink breast cancer awareness initiative in the Middle East recently with events in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women in the Middle East, as relatively low awareness rates mean women are often diagnosed at advanced stages.
In Riyadh this month, Ford teamed with the Zahra Breast Cancer Association for the Saudi debut of the Warriors in Pink collection of apparel and accessories. Collection items feature the 12 Warriors in Pink symbols of hope, strength and unity in the fight against breast cancer.
Warriors in Pink also showcased the Bras for a Cause T-shirt collection along with a fashion show of high-street and couture collections from well-known designers in the region.
Hanadi Al Outhah, Zahra Breast Cancer Association general manager, said, “We are very grateful for the support of Ford Middle East and Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies Company, and excited about the launch of Warriors in Pink in the Kingdom, where breast cancer represents 25 percent of detected tumors according to the statistics of Saudi Cancer Registry in 2008.”
Ford has dedicated more than $115 million in its 18-year commitment to the fight against breast cancer.
“We all need to work together and raise awareness so we fight the disease in early stages,” said Reem Abdallah Al Kraidees, Customer Care Center manager for Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies Co., Ford Export and Growth’s dealer in Saudi Arabia.
The events also introduced guests to the regionally relevant Warriors in Pink henna art initiative. Women in the Middle East have used henna in body art since ancient times, so Ford Middle East commissioned a video, which is available on the company’s Facebook and YouTube sites. Women across the Gulf and Levant are encouraged to paint the Warriors in Pink symbol that best represents them onto their hand. Some are worn to show a sense of solidarity and standing strong with breast cancer survivors, others to mark a commitment to life and survival in the face of the disease.
One of the activities Ford Middle East will bring to the region this year is the screening of “Five,” five short films that explore the impact of breast cancer on five very different women. Through an interconnected story, the films use humor and drama to focus on these women and their lives at different stages of their diagnoses. The stories look at the effect the disease has on relationships and the way the women perceive themselves while searching for strength, comfort, medical breakthroughs and, ultimately, a cure.
The first of the Middle East screenings was held recently in Dubai where a group of women bloggers viewed one of the short films and experienced firsthand the Warriors in Pink henna art initiative. Consumer events are planned in UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan and Qatar through early November.
Henna is used to paint Warriors in Pink symbols -- seen above in the middle photo -- on women’s hands.